(urth) Re: New Sun dilemna
marudubshinki at gmail.com
Thu Apr 7 15:25:03 PDT 2005
> Kieran said:
>> Well, as a Catholic and a reader of Wolfe I have found this thread to
>> be rather odd. Your point seems to be that any change in the future
>> of Urth that causes the death of anyone is immoral. The supposition
>> is that the "Frozen Urth" future is the "true future" and that
>> "Reborn Urth" is some choice that Severian makes leading to the
>> deaths of millions.
> By my reckoning neither is the "true future"; in reality we have no
> such conveniences to fall back on. If that's the case then you are
> left with the immediate effect of your actions on people who already
> exist. The effect, in this case, is devastating.
So you are arguing that any decision procedure based on probabilities is
>> I always thought that the inhabitants of Urth got to choose their
>> future - that was the point of the battle in UotNS. Those who
>> opposed the New Sun fought those who favored it. The New Sun won.
> This sounds just a bit too much like "might makes right". But the
> trial is an interesting issue to explore in its own right. Someone
> noted that at the time they held the trial, at least some involved
> already knew that Severian was the one who was going to bring the New
> Sun. What *was* the point of the trial? Well, if I remember correctly,
> for one thing, it somehow sealed the *inevitable* truth of the New Sun
I recall the explanation being that the New Sun, before the trial, was
*probable* but not certain. After the trial it was dead certain. Why
though probably has to do more with consent issues.
> This brings up something odd. I don't bring this up as a rhetorical
> point but as a serious question. Why would the Hierogrammates set up
> such a demanding test for an outcome which was actually *desirable*?
> (Assuming the outcome was, in fact, desirable). Why not, instead,
> offer it to the first Autarch that came along - or just do it on their
> own accord? The idea that they would only put it in motion when it had
> reached the point of inevitability makes the New Sun sound as if it
> were an undesirable outcome for them. Or at least, not an unqualified
If you want to perform some risky, yet necessary surgery (like a heart
bypass), you don't simply do it. You get consent.
>> For me the analogy is a poisoned bog that has some critters eking out
>> some existence in it. You might choose to clean it up, but in doing
>> so you wreak havoc on those already there, or who are adapted to the
>> poisons. So you should just leave it a toxic dump.
> Or move the critters to new environs.
>> Let's say Severian had to go to Briah to *stop* the arrival of the
>> White Fountain and keep the Urth on its current path of freezing in
>> the dark. Are you arguing that that would be a better choice?
> Are you arguing that these are the only two possible choices?
Do you see any other choices that don't break down into 'New Sun comes'
or 'New Sun doesn't come'?
Much as I hate to say, this would seem a pretty solidly binary choice.
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